Scores: 2 M*/ GFG 4/ Z 27/ H 2
The greenhouse is a fairly long standing Michelin starred restaurant, in this year’s guide it was upgraded to 2 stars (plus in January the AA raised it to four rosettes out of five). Thus is it must be doing something right, although on the other hand there must something not going quite right near there. One of the reasons we visited was that it was running a December deal on Toptable, at a time when every other restaurant in London was jam packed. The deal was 6 courses and coffee for £65. Although I had eaten at the Greenhouse before I had not eaten here since Arnaud Bignon became in charge of the kitchen.
The greenhouse is in a relatively hidden part of Mayfair and it is has a nice entrance way down to the main restaurant door. On the Thursday night we dinned the restaurant was busy, including the private room, although not every table was taken at least during the time we were there. The first course was actually three canapés. A beetroot meringue, some beef tarter in a pastry parcel and some mussel and curry paste on a bread stick. An unadvertised AB of a moisten egg containing onions flavours was then given to us. All of these were very good, showing good subtle use of flavours.
The first full course was a carrot that must have been cooked in a water bath that came with different flavoured sauces: one flavoured with tandoori spices, one with orange and there were also same seeds on the plate. The fish course excellent; it was a piece of cod in a dashi broth on some quinoa with tamarind flavours. The flavours from the broth were very tasty and the fish was cooked perfectly.
Some very well cooked venison followed, this was served with a rich sauce although there was very little of the advertised polenta and only three Brussel sprout leaves. Although usually I am happy to see a plate that is heavily meat weighted. In this case some more of the accompaniments may have enhanced the dish further.
The pre-dessert was described as a ‘mojito’, this was in fact a lolly of lime and mint ice encased in white chocolate, this did taste like just like a mojito cocktail and was a refreshing palate cleanser. A dessert of chestnut cake with chocolate and coffee flavours was a very good consistency and was not too rich but flavoursome.
Overall this was a very good meal that was relatively good value because of the deal. The subtle use of Asian flavours by the chef really makes some of the dishes very interesting. I am not sure why the Greenhouse has to put offers on Toptable, the food here should be good enough to make sure this restaurant is very busy at full price. However, the second star may be a bit rich IMO judging by the food at this visit…